Pray for the Refugees: An Advent Devotional – Day Fifteen

I can’t help but experience a heaviness in my heart today as scene after scene of war-torn Syria pops up in my newsfeed. A lone child stands among abandoned and charred buildings; a desperate man pleas for help from a global community which has no idea of the terror he is experiencing at this moment. Hopelessness seems to have the upper hand as thousands upon thousands of people are literally fleeing for their lives. Uncertain if they will survive another day. Wondering if they will kiss a sleeping child tonight or if they will instead stare death in the face.

15492098_10154698040610833_4131045083309417411_nWondering if the world has forgotten them.

The reality of these people’s lives is completely unknown to me. The suffering they must be enduring is beyond my comprehension. The terror they are experiencing is one I cannot begin to grasp, even in my worst nightmares.

Here I live, sheltered on the other side of the world. Distanced from their tragedy to the point that today I will most likely forget their suffering. My home will be filled with the noise of baby giggles and laughter as I care for my visiting grandchildren, while other grandparents are mourning the silence left behind in death’s wake.

What am I to do with a weeping world? How do I begin to extend hope or to cradle a humanity writhing in such despair?

My only chance in extending hope is to take the weight of this world’s hurt to Father’s doorstep. To bow my knee before a gracious throne and weep with the masses, humbly petitioning Immanuel to visit those who are beyond my reach. To pray for Jesus to once more descend to be with.

As I was reminded by a Facebook post concerning this devastation happening in Aleppo: We are not in a vacuum in the United States. This is a global crisis with no easy solutions. I feel helpless but not hopeless because I can pray. We can all – at least – pray.

And so I bow my heart and lift my voice to the One who hears, “Come, Lord Jesus. Come Immanuel and be a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

Won’t you join me?

FOR REFLECTION
While I realize the tone of this post is heavy, it is a critical time for so many. There are thousands of people who need our prayers and our financial help. Now more than ever, the Syrian people need the body of Christ to rally around them. Local native missionaries are mobilizing in relief efforts, so please do not hesitate to act. If God is moving you to financially help bear the burdens of Syria, you can donate through Advancing Native Missions today. They are a faithful and reputable organization with whom I have partnered for many years. You can donate here: https://goo.gl/yOIAm4

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